Thursday, April 24, 2014

Keys to a Healthy Home on a Budget

The Healthy House Institute (HHI) has released Keys to a Healthy Home on a Budget, designed to inform both professionals and consumers alike about how to upkeep a healthy home on a budget.

(Image via freedigitalphotos.net)
"Most healthy-home factors involve a prevention or 'removal' strategy hence are inexpensive or free to apply if addressed early," said Allen Rathey, president of The Healthy House Institute (HHI). "While the steps to a healthful home are basic and well-known, they are frequently neglected, prompting us to reinforce awareness and application of cost-effective, simple measures."

Keep It Dry

Keeping homes dry helps prevent the growth of mold, other microbes, and related health problems. Mold and bacteria need moisture to survive and thrive. Lowering a home's relative humidity through proper exhaust ventilation (e.g., running bathroom and shower fans for 30 minutes after showering or bathing), controlled mechanical ventilation (often as simple as installing a box fan facing outward in one open window and opening another window elsewhere in the house), and dehumidification in basements and where excess moisture occurs (dehumidifiers are available from big box retailers for less than $200), while sealing up unintentional airflows (i.e., drafts and air leaks) using caulking and sealants; go a long way toward promoting dryer, healthier home environments.

Keep It Clean, Contaminant-Free

Floor mats are inexpensive 'cleaning tools' -- placing one inside and outside a home's main entrance helps reduce indoor contaminants such as moisture, pesticide dust, heavy metals from industrial processes, and other pollutants. Often, the larger the mat, the more soil is removed.

Also, mild soap or detergent, and water, are thrifty but effective ways to remove soil and germs without resorting to expensive commercial products. Microfiber cloths and mops often clean well with just water.

Removal of germs is as important (or perhaps more so) than poisoning them: For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, "Disinfectant/detergent formulations registered by EPA are used for environmental surface cleaning, but the actual physical removal of microorganisms and soil by wiping or scrubbing is probably as important, if not more so, than any antimicrobial effect of the cleaning agent used."

Still, there is a time and place for disinfectants, and non-chemical interventions such as steam vapor or UV wands may be helpful.

10 Healthy Cleaning Principles
1. Remove, do not add contaminants.
2. Remove, do not add or stir dust.
3. Remove, do not routinely poison germs.
4. Remove, do not add allergens.
5. Minimize chemistry, maximize results.
6. Disinfect touch points daily.
7. Use ergonomic tools.
8. Use fragrance-free products.
9. Use residue-free products and processes.
10. Use non-toxic methods.

Keep It Pest-Free

Keeping homes clean, dry and well-sealed prevents pests from finding harborage. This is part of Integrated Pest Management or IPM. According to NSF International, IPM "is an environmentally friendly pest management approach that emphasizes multiple methods of non-chemical pest control and prevention." Don't be afraid to call for professional assistance from companies with a strong IPM policy, but you can do a lot yourself by keeping kitchens and homes clean and dry, and not leaving dirty dishes around the home.

Keep It Ventilated

Fresh air is your friend, so be sure your home gets enough. Be sure every bathroom, shower, toilet, and utility area has a working exhaust fan to pull damp and/or unhealthy air out, and fresher air in. Use the exhaust fan over the stove to remove cooking smells and related airborne contaminants (e.g., natural gas stoves release carbon monoxide, so are especially important to vent well). Controlled mechanical ventilation can be as simple as using a box fan in a window, or as complicated as installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), which exhausts stale air as it brings in fresh air, but saves energy by transferring heat or cooling from one airstream to the other using a heat exchanger.

Keep It Safe, Maintained

Remember to have your home inspected by a qualified expert every few years to find problem areas. Ask visitors to give your home a "sniff test" to detect mold, airborne contaminants, or general staleness. Visitors not acclimated to a home's "normal smells" can be more objective when detecting unwanted odors. This is not a substitute for professional inspection, but can help.

Be sure your bathtub has hand railings for elderly loved ones, and areas inside and outside your home are well-lit. Outdoor lighting is a deterrent to crime, and LED bulbs can stay 'On' all night without running up electric bills.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pick City: Rancho Santa Margarita

Rancho Santa Margarita - Week of April 20th, 2014

Single Family Homes




This Week

The median list price in RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA this week is $699,450. The 54 properties have been on the market for an average of 45 days.

The Market Action Index has been trending down lately, while inventory is climbing. These trends imply a weakening market.


Supply and Demand

The market has started cooling and prices have been flat for several weeks. Since we're in the Seller's zone, watch for changes in MAI. If the MAI resumes it's climb, prices will likely follow suit. If the MAI drops consistently or falls into the Buyer's zone, watch for downward pressure on prices.



Median Price


Prices hit another all time high this week. Given current conditions, prices continue to march higher. A persistent drop of the Market Action Index into the Buyer's zone will be a leading indicator of the price strength subsiding.


Inventory of Properties Listed for Sale

Inventory has been climbing lately. Note that rising inventory alone does not signal a weakening market. Look to the Market Action Index and Days on Market trends to gauge whether buyer interest is keeping up with available supply.



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Data Provided by and Copyright Altos Research LLC

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Take Necessary Precautions When Buying a Flipped Home

RAMONA, CA, Apr 22, 2014—As home prices are rising, home flippers are returning to the fold, snapping up properties or listing already flipped masterpieces they've been sitting on while prices were low. Home flipping is the process of buying a property, renovating it and selling it for a higher price. Many investors, known as “serial flippers,” buy multiple homes and flip them in quick succession. If you're looking at a home that has recently been flipped, Karen and Thad Clendenen, REALTORS® at CENTURY 21 Award offer you a few things to keep in mind.

The History

(Image via freedigitalphotos.net)
“Check the tax records to see how long the previous owner owned the property,” suggests Karen. “If it was
a very short time, do your due diligence to determine whether the home was an investment opportunity, or whether the owner may be leaving because something is awry.”

The Flipper

If the current owner of your home's information is available, and they seem to be a serial flipper, check out any homes they have flipped in the past. How does their previous work look? Were the buyers of those homes satisfied?

The Permits

“If any structural changes were made, be sure they were properly permitted and that all the necessary inspections were done,” notes Thad.

The Quality of Renovation

Make sure to get a proper inspection on the property, and have a builder pay special attention to the home's structure or any recent changes. “While many home flippers are extremely talented renovators, some cut corners and take shortcuts to flip the home faster,” cautions Thad. Make sure everything is sound so you don't stumble upon a problem post-sale. “If you can't have an inspection until you've made an offer, make sure to include a contingency clause enabling you to walk away if the inspection shows a critical issue,” says Karen.

Plumbing, heating and AC

Since many flippers do not live in the homes while working on them, their systems may not have been used, and issues may go unnoticed or unnamed. Does the AC work? How about the plumbing? Any leaks? Be sure to check thoroughly.



For more information on obtaining a mortgage, please contact Karen Clendenen at kclendenen@century21award.com, (760) 213-0335, or http://www.century21award.com/agents/KarenClendenen










You can also contact Thad Clendenen at tclendenen@century21award.com(760) 445-0958, or http://www.century21award.com/agents/ThadClendenen







For additional information on real estate, please contact CENTURY 21 Award at info@century21award.com, (800) 293-1657, or CENTURY 21 Award

Friday, April 18, 2014

Open Houses: Hot off the presses (April 19th-20th, 2014)





Saturday, 1-4
1182 Chisolm Trail Dr
Diamond Bar
3 bed/2 bath
2645 Sq. Ft.
Built 1984
Gorgeous single story!
$839,000

Rose Cervantes
(909) 938-7154

BRE# 00675089
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos
Take a Tour

Saturday, 1-4
39562 Millstream Rd
Murrieta
4 bed/ 2.5 bath
2037 Sq. Ft.
Built 1997
Motivated sellers, energy efficient home!
$374,500

Betty Jaurequi
(949) 439-0191
BRE# 01741637
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 1-4
6166 Temple City Blvd
Temple City
3 bed/3 bath
2208 Sq. Ft.
Built 2004
Beautiful detached two story condominium!
$839,900

Rose Cervantes
(909) 938-7154

BRE# 00675089
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 12-3 
5455 Conrad Ave
San Diego
3 bed/1 bath
1018 Sq. Ft.
Built 1960
Beautifully remodeled!
$459,000

Sean Lin
(510) 717-5436

BRE# 01948197
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 1-4
3113 Marlborough Ave
San Diego
3 bed/2 bath
1560 Sq. Ft.
Built 1930
City Heights home!
$329,900-$349,900

Ruth Pugh
(858) 467-4727

BRE# 01139420
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Sat/Sun, 1-4
1161 Chestnut Ave
Carlsbad
0 bed/0 bath
10,889 Sq. Ft.
Landscaped in 2007
Build-ready land!
$699,000

Betty Calkin
(760) 213-2152

BRE# 01475689
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos
Take a Tour

Sat/Sun, 1-4
7915 Michelle Dr
La Mesa
3 bed/2 bath
1677 Sq. Ft.
Built 1959
San Carlos w/pool!
$424,900-$449,000

Ruth Pugh
(858) 467-4727

BRE# 01139420
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos


Saturday, 12-4
17307 Eastview Dr
Chino Hills
5 bed/3 bath
2488 Sq. Ft.
Built 1997
Chino Hills and view!
$650,000

Anthony Tukay
(909) 227-0273

BRE# 01821120
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 12-4 
5847 Rocking Horse Wy #30
Orange
3 bed/3 bath
1300 Sq. Ft.
Built 1986
Turnkey!
$464,900

Lynnette Richard
(949) 370-2364

BRE# 01486795
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 1-4
39 Via Madera
Rancho Santa Margarita
2 bed/2 bath
1181 Sq. Ft.
Built 2000
Amazing Carriage unit!
$405,000

Laurne Kovacs
(949) 600-3672
BRE# 01927907
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos
Take a Tour

Saturday, 11-3 
6909 Hoffman Ave
San Diego
4 bed/1 bath
1502 Sq. Ft.
Built 1955
Well maintained home!
$349,900-$389,900

Jamal Johnson
(619) 852-4244

BRE# 01927800
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 10-2 
4072 Marzo St
San Diego
4 bed/2 bath
1250 Sq. Ft.
Built 1970
Move-in ready!
$355,000

Melissa Tucci
(619) 822-1567

BRE# 01380034
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Sat/Sun, 2-4
707 Clamath St
Spring Valley
4 bed/2 bath
1532 Sq. Ft.
Built 1961
Move-in ready!
$352,625

DJ Morris
(619) 464-8111

BRE# 00881044
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Sat/Sun, 1-4
1832 Wedgemere Rd
El Cajon
3 bed/3 bath
1716 Sq. Ft.
Built 1951
Fletcher Hills w/pool!
$599,900-$649,900

Ruth Pugh
(858) 467-4727

BRE# 01139420
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos


Saturday, 1-4 
10 La Flora
Irvine
3 bed/2.5 bath
1910 Sq. Ft.
Built 1987
West Park in Irvine!
$869,000

Debra Kovacs
(949) 350-0146

BRE# 01277417
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos
Take a Tour

Saturday, 1-5 
4400 San Antonio Rd
Yorba Linda
5 bed/3 bath
2700 Sq. Ft.
Built 1987
Beautiful horse property!
$999,000

Michelle Fowler
(714) 290-5016

BRE# 00594943
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Sat/Sun, 1-4
7006 Riverrun Ct
Eastvale
4 bed/2.5 bath
2226 Sq. Ft.
Built 2002
Gorgeous Eastvale home!
$429,900

Meghan Shigo
(714) 273-1381

BRE# 01243803
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 1-4
6114 Madeline St
San Diego
3 bed/3 bath
2261 Sq. Ft.
Built 1952
Serene Rolando home!
$499,900

Margaret Bing
(619) 301-2925

BRE# 01496385
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Saturday, 1-4 
1908 Yettford Dr
Vista
3 bed/2 bath
1300 Sq. Ft.
Built 1962
Fantastic family home!
$435,000

Betty Calkin
(760) 213-2152

BRE# 01475689
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos

Sat/Sun, 1-4 
6761 Estrella Ave
San Diego
3 bed/2 bath
1664 Sq. Ft.
Built 1957
Allied Gardens home!
$539,900-$559,900

Ruth Pugh
(858) 467-4727

BRE# 01139420
 
 Directions
 More Info/Photos




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